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Eccentric Weight Training Program

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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 3/7/2018

Eccentric Training Routine

We need to examine what happens in the muscle when we do a set of 10 reps to the point of failure before discussing the advantage of eccentric training. There are three different types of muscle fibers in any muscle group which we need to list briefly to help explain eccentric training correctly.

Type I Muscle fibers or "slow twitch" fibers. These fibers cannot explode and have an extremely high resistance to all kinds of fatigue. These fibers are created to enable endurance type training.

Type II Muscle Fibers or "fast twitch" fibers. These fibers are stronger and they can explode but are a lot less resistant to fatigue that Type I. These fibers are created to enable any anaerobic and explosive movement.

Type IIb Muscle Fibers or "super-fast twitch" fibers. These muscle fibers are the strongest part of any muscle, very resistant to fatigue together with an extremely high capacity to contract for maximum strength.

So if we consider these three important muscle fibers and think of doing a conventional 10 rep set, it will be the Type II fibers that will be doing most of the lift. But when we reach the last rep getting to the point of failure without being able to lift the barbell off your chest.

You have reached the point of positive failure and not negative failure. You could more than likely hold the weight locked out despite the inability to lift it off your chest. If you slowly lower a weight eccentrically you are using the important Type IIb fibers to try and achieve negative failure.

If you mix up some eccentric movements in your workouts you will also notice an increase of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) because you will be activating all the muscle fibers in the isolated body-part. There are certain compound movements like squats where eccentric training should only be done by advanced lifters.

Doing eccentrics on a cable with a cambered arc is probably the best way to ensure constant tension throughout the movement. The routine listed below is just an example of the type of eccentric training that you could include in your workouts and you can make your own adaptations.

Push Ups 2 X 10 Raise your body for one second and then lower your body for 10 seconds.

Split Squats 2 X 10 quickly lift up with locked out legs and then slowly lower for 10 seconds.

Bent-over Rows 2 X 10 One second on the concentric move and then a slow 10 second count for lowering the weight.

Leg Extensions 3 X 10 Lift the concentric quickly and then a slow 10 second lowering.

D/B Shoulder Presses 3 X 10 After a quick concentric raise of the dumbbells to then a slow eccentric phase lowering for 10 seconds.

Single Leg Curls (Standing) 3 X 10 each side One second on the concentric and then 10 seconds on the eccentric.

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